What would £578m profit do for the firm?

Photo: Rolls Royce


It’s a problem every firm has. What to do with the profit – invest it in the company, or use it to line the already-fur-lined pockets of the Partners’ suits? Given Freshfields has announced a whopping profit of £578m, we thought we’d consider what they could do with their spare cash – and the results are stupefying.

  1. Recruit 14,271 more first-seat trainees. Roll on Friday tells us the starting salary for a fresh trainee at Freshfields is £40,500 pa. With the profit invested thus, there’d be 32 extra trainees for each of the firm’s 440 Partners.
  2. Sponsor the Olympics until 2244. According to The Guardian, Freshfields’ sponsorship of London 2012 cost £10m. So assuming a long-term tie-up brings volume discounts that approximately equate to inflation, Freshfields could still be sponsoring the medal-fest in another 231 years.
  3. Improve the CV of everyone in the country. Freshfields has done good work in the community with employability classes. But with a CV writing course costing as little as £15, Freshfields could pay for another 38.5 million, covering the entire UK workforce and then some.
  4. Serve legendary biscuits. Why mess about with internal baking? Fortnum and Mason’s produce some excellent macarons that come in at (an eye-watering) £2 each: Freshfields could afford 289 million of these little fellas, getting them through about 40 million client meetings.
  5. Caffeinate its entire staff for a lifetime. Working late is de rigeur at Freshfields, so the money could be spend on 8.5 billion Pro Plus tablets. There’s also a handy McDonalds across from the London office on Fleet Street: 252 million Big Macs would help the flat-out Freshsters cope with at a few all-nighters.
  6. Give all their lawyers spectacular wardrobes. Richard James suits start at £765 apiece, which means Freshfields could buy all of its 2500 lawyers three hundred each (or a comparable female equivalent). That’s pretty much a fresh one every day for a year – after which they can presumably do the same again.
  7. Entertain the entire population of the Philippines. DVD copies of the sitcom ‘Fresh Fields’ are available on eBay for £5.71. The firm could buy over a hundred million of these, one for every Filipino, if that many copies exist, which they probably don’t.
  8. Drive around in style. Freshfields advises Rolls-Royce, and could buy over 1800 new RR Phantoms for £310,300 each from HR Owen. (That’s an average of 64 for every one of its 28 offices.) However, it would take them about 30 years at this rate to buy Rolls-Royce Group PLC, which currently has a market cap of £19.92b.
  9. Fill the Spurs stadium with Dr Johnson first editions. Dr Johnson used to hang out in the Cheshire Cheese, the pub tucked away opposite the London office. A first edition of his dictionary costs £15,000. Freshfields could buy nearly 39,000 of these (if they existed) – one for every seat at White Hart Lane.
  10. Hijack the bestseller charts. Finally, everyone loves a good read. And what better than The Freshfields Guide to Arbitration Clauses in International Contracts (3rd Edition)? The paperback is a snip for the beach at just £42, meaning the firm could buy over 13.7 million copies. Buy just over 650,000 of these annually and – pow! – that makes it the UK’s bestselling book every year between now and 2035. AB

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Freshfields, noted for veganism, neutering and compulsory microchipping